Hiring Your Next Recruiter
It feels like there are a gazillion recruiting firms and agencies competing for your business. Recruiting is a tough job, but it pays pretty well if you can do it well, and plenty of people are trying. For startups, this makes for a tough situation. How do you know if a firm can deliver? Can they handle what you need? Are they dependable? Will they provide a good working relationship? These are legitimate concerns, especially when it comes to the impact early hires have on a startup’s success. How do you overcome these concerns? Ask the right questions.
Can they handle your needs?
What job functions do you specialize in?
What industries do you specialize in?
When it comes to recruiting for your company, finding a firm with experience in your industry goes a long way. For a company to understand your hiring needs, they need to understand your business, and not just the position at hand.
What level of seniority do you deal with the most?
Finding a talented Developer is a different ballgame than hiring a VP of Technology. A recruiter may have easily found success delivering candidates for lower level positions, but could have no experience recruiting at the C- level. Be sure to vet out the breakdown of their successful placements.
What geographies do you focus on?
Today’s recruiter can work remotely from anywhere and still deliver top-notch results, but geographic focus is still an important consideration. Recruiters who focus on a specific geography, even without boots on the ground, develop stronger networks within those areas. Even if relocation is an option your company would consider, for most positions your immediate geography is the most likely source of candidates.
What Clients have you worked with, and what do they say about you?
Most recruiting firms can materialize a client list fairly easily, but testimonials from past and current clients are more tangible evidence of a firm’s caliber. It’s one thing to hire a recruiting firm, but to give them an endorsement speaks volumes about their results.
Is the firm dependable?
How long has the company been in operation?
A history of operation and longevity is a good sign of dependability. It shows that a recruiting firm has been stable enough to startup, grow and survive, through both hiring frenzies and the lean times.
What is the average experience level of the recruiters?
Most typical firms in operation will have a few senior level recruiters with experience and solid track records, and then a fair spread of more junior level people, either sourcing and learning the trade or taking on less challenging accounts and openings. A team full of entry level recruiters should be an immediate red flag. A team of veterans is a good sign, but will come with a price tag as well.
What is the average tenure of your recruiters?
As a profession, recruiters tend to have a higher turnover rate than others, similar to the sales industry. A solid average tenure for a team of recruiters is right around 2 years. If you come across a firm in your search whose team tenure averages less than a year, turn around and run.
Who is my point of contact?
This is an important question to ask. Many firms have a level of internal competition, and thus may have more than one recruiter reaching out to you. A firm should be able to clearly articulate who your Account Manager is, and this person should be informed on the aspects of your search.
How do you source your candidates?
Some firms are guarded about where they find people, but most firms are looking in many of the same places. What you really want to discern is whether or not they will send you a stack of resumes or a smaller, more manageable pile of vetted submissions. Alongside this, you should determine how the recruiters match candidates to your position.
What is the average placement time?
Some of your hiring needs may be ongoing or lack urgency, but for a startup, most hires need to happen yesterday, so timeline is an important consideration. This is data that a good recruiting firm knows up front and can use to demonstrate that number to you.
Do you offer any guarantee?
Hiring is a tricky ball game, and even the best hires don’t always work out. Realizing this, recruiting firms will generally offer some sort of guarantee around their placements. The details of that guarantee can either legitimize it or leave you out of luck should your hire not last through a specific period of time. Dig into the firm’s placement guarantee, and make sure you know exactly what you are promised.
Hiring Your Next Recruiter is just as important as choosing the people you employee. When making a decision about an executive search firm, be sure to ask the right questions and get the right answers. Speak with us today to get OUR answers!